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EQZE presents an international seminar and an exhibition

The program will bring together renowned specialists, artists and academics working on orphan films and secrets of the archives

10/16/2017

Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola has organised an international seminar for October 26, 27 and 28 on amateur cinema, films “without names” and the concept of authorship entitled Stories (and Aesthetics) About Anonymous and Orphan Cinema. The exhibition "Anonymous Cinema", which will host a selection of films around the same subjects will take place in parallel.

EQZE presents an international seminar and an exhibition

Stories (and Aesthetics) About Anonymous and Orphan cinema will bring together filmmakers and scholars of this category from October 26 to 28

An audiovisual exhibition entitled Anonymous Cinema on the premises of the school will accompany the seminar

Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola has organised an international seminar for October 26, 27 and 28 on amateur cinema, films “without names” and the concept of authorship entitled Stories (and Aesthetics) About Anonymous and Orphan Cinema. The three-day seminar, which is open to the general public, will bring together renowned specialists, curators, visual artists, filmmakers and academics working on orphan films and secrets of the archives. The sessions programmed, which include three screenings in collaboration with the Basque Film Archive and the Film and Audiovisual department of the Tabakalera ​​cultural project, are designed as mixed sessions featuring lectures illustrated with short film excerpts. The audiovisual exhibition Anonymous Cinema, which will host a wide selection of films based around this leitmotif in the school itself, will take place in parallel.

Cinema with no clear authorship or what is called orphan cinema is not a rarity, but a common denominator in the majority of twentieth century film production. "Anonymous cinema" is cinema which is unsigned: home films, orphan films, industrial cinema, amateur films, incomplete or censored films, films forgotten in archives for political reasons or specific social contexts, the films of filmmakers who did not see themselves as authors or where the film institution decided not to consider them as such. "Anonymous cinema" is also cinema which, even though it has credits and even a copyright seal, contains moments in the life of anonymous people: i.e. films featuring fleeting faces rather than stars.

The concept of authorship, first with the star system and then with politique des auteurs (auteur theory), is inherent to the way in which the history of cinema has been interpreted. Therefore, the mere mention of “anonymous cinema” contradicts one of the key categories in film history and criticism. Since the 1990s, the appreciation and study of amateur films, orphan films and anonymous cinema has opened new avenues of exploration of unknown areas of history, to the point where anonymity has enabled a new film category which is difficult to label, identify, classify and define and that raises constant queries and questions many platitudes.

Stories (and Aesthetics) About Anonymous and Orphan Cinema aims to take these new views on cinema into account and update the studies which specialists from around the world are undertaking on the subject.  With a didactic approach and the participation of professionals from some of the most renowned international institutions working in the research and dissemination of this type of film production (see programme), the seminar will go over part of the history of “anonymous cinema” and address issues related to scientific and medical cinema from the start of the century, historical cinema covering periods of war and militant and political cinema, and show home movies and artistic creations conceived from this remarkable anonymous material.

The Anonymous Cinema exhibition

Coinciding with the seminar, Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola will open up its facilities in the form of a gallery to host an anthological exhibition on anonymous, orphan and amateur cinema throughout the history of cinema.  The purpose of the project is to identify this hidden side of cinema made up of home and amateur films, films with no defined authorship and films that have been abandoned, are incomplete, silenced or not designed for public screening and shed light on the material, commercial, cultural and historical reasons that lead to a film being forgotten with no apparent authorship. 

The Anonymous Cinema exhibition covers all of the different meanings of orphan films: small fragments of films of great interest in the history of cinema (such as material by Edison or American Vitagraph), amateur works with artistic pretensions (such as those made within the Amateur Cinema League in the 30s), home movies made in the heart of the Soviet Union, forgotten practices of the first women enrolled in the Institute of Cinematographic Research and Experimentation in Madrid in the 50s, interventions by artists from found footage (such as the work of Rebeca Baron, Goug Goodwin and Jen Proctor) and the endless stream of material on YouTube.

The sections that make up this exhibition are curated by specialists such as Guy Edmonds, Sonia García López, Clara Sánchez-Dehesa (coordinator of the archive department of EQZE), Mirco Santi, Dan Streible, Mark Toscano, Maria Vinogradova, most of whom will be participants at the seminar, and will bring together more than 30 orphan films or fragments from orphan films, in a time range spanning from 1894 to the present day. The central space of the exhibition will also be occupied by a selection from the long tradition of Basque amateur film.

The exhibition will provide visitors the chance to visit the classroom space of the EQZE, accompanied by moving images. The spatial distribution of the school is designed for training and hands-on learning, but also as a flexible and versatile place that can be transformed, as it is now, into a gallery or exhibition space, where students in the curating department can take the floor and present their projects.

The exhibition is open from october 26 at 16:00 to 1 november. The timetable will be from 10:00 to 14:00 hours and from 16:00 to 20:00 hours.

Click here to see more pictures (Iñigo Royo)